This brief story suggests that the French Gendarmerie’s national CT organization, the GIGN, is replacing their HK 416s with CZ 806 Bren 2s… that’s possible.

Except that the article is quite explicit that they’re going to a new round: the Soviet 1943G 7.62 x 39 mm intermediate round. This guy:

The French National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) has ordered a new standard issue weapon.

It has selected the Bren 2 assault rifle from Czech company CZ. The company told Shephard at the SOFINS exhibition that the GIGN has selected the 7.62 x 39 mm version of the rifle and placed an initial order for 68 units earlier in 2017.

Additional procurements are slated to take place in the near future with the aim of replacing the majority of the H&K 416s currently in service.

Supposedly, the caliber decision was made early on, before the rifle decision, and in fact, long before CZ entered the competition.

The decision to adopt the Bren 2 was the result of a process that began in 2015 after the Paris attacks in January that year. Faced with terrorists equipped with bullet-proof vests, French gendarmerie and police intervention units found that 9 mm weapons had little efficiency in such situations and that 5.56 mm ammo lacked the necessary stopping power.

The CZ spokesperson said that the GIGN identified a need for a new weapon able to fire a heavier bullet. The 7.62 x 51 mm calibre had the suitable characteristics but the weapons for this calibre were considered too heavy and bulky for efficient close-quarter combat.

Thus, GIGN decided to evaluate assault rifles chambered in the 7.62 x 39 mm calibre instead and undertook trials throughout 2015 with a variety of weapons.

The CZ 806 Bren 2 does have a French connection already. It was developed from the CZ 805 Bren with a view to the French rifle competition, but it was not ready in time. The French adopted the 416; the Czechs adopted the Bren 2 in place of the earlier Bren, and the rifle has had some export success.

But the 7.62 x 39 mm round decision rang so false to us that we initially assumed that this article was an April Fool’s Day joke. It can’t have been, though: it was published 30 March.

Not to mention, the 7.62 x 39 mm model is … well, look at it. It was spawned in the cauldrons of the five Lee Sisters: Ug, Home, Ghast, Beast, and Gnar.

Anyway, you can Read The Whole Thing™, and form your own opinion. So far we’ve found no support for this at CZ, on French government sites, or, in fact anywhere. Can anyone confirm or deny this story?

This entry was posted in Foreign and Enemy Weapons, Industry on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

100 thoughts on “Wait, French CT is Going to 7.62 x 39? Whaaaat?


Whaaaat? In Russia, to find AK 7.62×39 in special units is a huge problem. Chechnya proved full superiority 5,45. A small amount of “noiseless” modification is preserved, with a muffler and a sight on subsonic cartridge. 🙂


Because the 5.56X45 is the single most useless military round since the 6.5 craze of the late 19th century. The 7.62X39 or the 7.92X33 are the smallest short range carbine rounds that provide one shot kills in humans, and that’s what you want when dealing with African and Arab terrorist. Instant. Death. Not a round designed from the outset to WOUND. Personally I think that a 150 grain hollow point bullet @ 2900 FPS filled with cyanide is the best round to field in the mid east.(or anywhere else with an Islamic infestation) But that’s just me. The 7.62X39 is in production, a proven “killer” and widely available. It makes perfect sense. On a related note. The pentagon has finally admitted the fail that is the 5.56X45 and wants to go back to the old 7.62 NATO round. Glad to see it.


You have absolutely no clue on anything you are talking about, at all.

good satire Ray

you did it so well you almost sound like you believe that absurdity. well done you had me rolling on the floor


Funniest thing about this post lambasting the 5.56mm cartridge range is that we just had a perfect illustration of how effective the round can be, and out of an -A2 platform, as well.

Can anyone think of what I might possibly be referring to? Need I drop hints? Broken Arrow, OK? Does that ring any bells? Hell, from the initial look of things, the guy behind the gun got three kills with a couple of shots, and one of them was apparently a through-and-through…

I’ve got my doubts about the 5.56mm platform, but those mostly relate to the stuff out beyond 300m. At knife-fighting range, I’m pretty sure the round works, so long as you do your job.


5.56mm fired from a twenty inch barrel at 5 yards range is something else compared to 5.56mm out of a 9 inch barrel at 100 yards range.


Don’t use a 9 inch barrel then…

855a1 out of a 14.5 works just dandy, though I’ll be honest and say that if I had my druthers we’d be using a different 5.56 round altogether.

Said 5.56 doesn’t drop below it’s 1900 fps frag threshold until well beyond 500 meters from a 14.5 inch barrel and would even be stupidly impressive out of a 10.5 inch bbl as well. Even more nice though is with the designed 55 grain pill you’re looking at a weight per loaded round that’s just a little less than steel case 7n6 if you use a brass case for the round. Go full polymer case CT and you’re basically at parity with ss190 5.7×28 loadings.

Mind you this round is not something I’m touting as the second coming of the messiah, just a little something that can easily be done using a sabot and cartridge research done by the US government a few decades ago.


Professionals around the world are so alike! Reading you remembered one battalion commander (!) Special Forces, a naval officer (!) released from the academy ahead of schedule (!) In the Muslim battalion (!), For the capture of the “Palace on the Mountain” (!). As I suggested, he stormed him through the sewer system in the scuba. Is he offended, said that I’m not a patriot, I hate Russia and bought by the State Department.


Oh, please just stop, Ray. It is fairly obvious you have never engaged a live target with any of those rounds, and don’t know what you’re on about.

FYI: Just because some loads of 5.56 suck from short barrels does not make the cartridge useless, and M43 does NOT produce “one shot kills on humans” any more reliably than any other intermediate round. I haven’t shot anything with an 8mm Kurtz round, yet, so maybe you’re right about that. Hopefully you are just trying to be funny or start shit for fun. I can’t imagine anyone being that ill informed in the era of infinite, instantly accessable data.

The odd thing here is that the article implies, explictly, that they picked that round looking for better armour penetration and terminal performance. Neither of which M43 does appreciable better than any other intermediate ball ammo, much less the SS109, which I am speculating that they are currently using. If they wanted better performance on armour, why not just buy M855A1, or order a pallet of Federal 556T3 for better terminal performance? Hell, mix the two.

This whole thing reeks. Are we sure it wasn’t published on 4.1, in another time zone?


Eat shit and die troll. I’m just as entitled to my opinion as you are. If you don’t like that then stop being a know it all keyboard commando and move out of moms basement. I really don’t care what AR/5.56 fanboy’s think about anything. In all likelihood I have been shooting longer than you have been alive and enlisted in the US Army before you were born and have had or have seen the 5.56 and Stoner carbine fail more times than I can count. You go back to your action figure “war room” and childish internet education.


You don’t really know where you are do you?

At least this guy is not gnashing his teeth about the Jews like Haxo.

This should be fun to watch.

why don’t you enlighten us all with your accomplishments Ray? So we know how much to worship you as the expert you clearly are.


I think Ray is trolling, the cyanide gives it away. And the ‘going back to .308)

In other news, I heard a (eastern bloc)gun instructor said “5.56” is a ‘dirty’ round because it was designed to fragment, and if they could pick something to be shot with, they’d much prefer M43 ball ammo, which typically just punches through in one piece.


It was more obvious when he called other someone else “troll”…hilarious. Sad when ignorance and trolling look and sound so similar.

archyir lirrle ,

I know a guy who is not way up there in GIGN, just a long-serving grunt. and

I’ll run this past him and see if he’s picked up anything about his guys getting a new shooter.

I’ve never run a Bren II and the only Bren Is I ‘ve fired have been the ones with a magazine coming out the top, which I bet aren’t the ones GIGN is considering, though it sure would solve any penetration underperformance problems they’ve had.

Remembering that the French really favoured Ruger mini-14 AC5.56s with 3-shot burst triggers [and the cops still use Rugers with the buttstock inletted for an M1 carbine type sling setup, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bren II given a serious tryout at least. A lot of the Russian tankers were really underwhelmed with the


The musquetons have been bought around 1980 to replace the worn out M1 carbines then still in service IIRC. To make them similar in handling made sense imho. And they still are in arsenals collecting dust mostly. So why not bring them out for patrol with the state of emergency in France.

Back then the Ruger rifles have been cheaper than M16 too I guess. And colt was busy filling Army contracts anyway.


***The musquetons have been bought around 1980 to replace the worn out M1 carbines then still in service IIRC. To make them similar in handling made sense imho.***

Explains much. FA-MAS G1 was still in development in ’79-’80, getting final working out of 3-shot burst feature, or so it was said during US JSSAP program, which eventually went with such a feature on the then-new M16A2. Ruger AC556 had the 3-shot feature, so it was an introduction for what was to come on the new French Army and some police rifle.


Make me wonder if they mean 7.62×35 or 300aac. Still would be an unusual choice but would make more sense than 7.62×39.

Ps sorry if i double posted my data connection went all wonky as I was posting.

Hognose Post author

US SOF is using .300 BLK a lot, unit dependent. Some are for it, some are not. They are running it with heavy subsonics indoors, and with light-bullet supersonics outdoors. It has replaced the 7.62 SCAR as the preferred indoor ventilator of armored hadjis, one unit in particular has killed at least four figures of bad guys with .300 BLK. Literal thousands.


Hmmmm. A French FAMAS *Clarion* G2 IN .300 BO. Now that wound be interesting. And it’d look like just every Army gun, too, very sneaky, and is a bullpup for suppressor or hideout work. Possibilities, there,,,,


Wow, that is pretty awesome. And thinking in terms of short range and probably short barrels it does sound like a good good choice for what they would be using it for. I had heard that 300 was gaining steam but didn’t realize it was doing that much work already. Tid bits like that are one of the many reasons I’ve become a wee bit addicted to the site. Maybe not 12 step addicted but not far off. Ha!


I’ve never really taken an interest in .300 BLK, but just took a look at the ballistics. My first impression is that the 220 grain loads at about 1000 fps is a lot like the .45 ACP with 230 grain loads out of a carbine, with increased armor penetration.

Your thoughts?

John M.

The vastly increased sectional density of the .300 BLK is going to give better penetration of all kinds relative to .45 ACP loads with similar energy numbers.

I’d guess that you could get more consistent expansion out of hollowpoints also in .300 BLK relative to .45 ACP, given the very different bullet profiles. A 220 gr .30 cal bullet is one whale of a long slug. But that’s just a non-expert guess.

-John M.


That’s damned interesting.


*glitch post* their AKS74 *suschka* shorty AKs performance and swiped 7,62×39 AKMs from the otrher guys when they could, though there wasn’t much else useful to be had.

The Bren II looks to be an interesting beastie though and I’d rather be trying one out than about 75% of the crap available in the USA. I wonder if it will accept an RPK drum?

This may be a function of the we’re-so-special forces Tacticool syndrome, though, where they pick exotic foreign weaponry because it’s different from what joe Pierre Grunt carries, much like the post- 9/11 DOD Pentagon guards with the H&K G36s.


I don’t know, but the new Bren(sic) guns had an iffy reputation. They were rushed, overpriced, and sold to the Army without extensive testing. Of course the first time they were used by troops in combat they kept jamming due to ejection issues, which were later blamed on ‘incorrect maintenance’ by troops and armorers.

Also too heavy, not very ergonomic and so on. The new version seems to be an attempt to fix that.

The Bren II looks to be an interesting beastie though and I’d rather be trying one out than about 75% of the crap available in the USA.

I’d go for time-tested crap over newfangled exotics.

Indeed, I have never understood the compulsion of so many people here to instantly declare something new or new and made some where else as superior to what we have been using for decades. just because it’s new and they MFGs say they are.

I recall on a well known gun board a guy selling all his AR15s off when the magpul “Massada” was shown at SHOT show, He had already bought into the idea it was gonna be just soo much better.

We see how that turned out..

John M.

Nothing is perfect, but at least with old hardware you have some idea what the issues are going to be.

-John M.


* suschka * – this is AKS-74U, in the West known as Krinkov


I can by GIGN wanting something new. I can buy them wanting to up gun after the Charlie Hebdo fiasco. But .30 Russian Short as your armor defeating people killer? I do believe a bit too much port was consumed in that thought process.


Not in the standard M43 Ball round fodder but I’d bet there are other alternatives that’d poke holes in armor.

I don’t know much about GIGN but at pure face value this sounds dubious. I would, however, believe if they wanted to adopt a certain number of rifles for use to be ammunition compatible with indigenous forces they might be working with in other locations. The story itself may be adding its own narrative to fill space or gaps.


7.62x39mm API BZ is decent armor piercing stuff. I think it’s tungsten cored, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

I concur on your read that this is dubious at best.

jim h

agreed. I (like mentioned above) wondered if they were going more for the .300, but I don’t believe that rifle is made in that caliber. the .300 would offer a much better suppressed option than 5.56, correct? I’ve never fired the .300, but have some coworkers that swear by it’s properties when suppressed. .30 cal frontal area and mass, and quieter report make it a better choice than this old war horse.

OTOH, maybe they’re planning on picking up ammo, call-of-duty style, from their new boatloads of “women and children refugees” that the EU is forcing down their throats…..


Been shooting and loading for it for years. Shooting suppressed subs out of a 300 is a good time. Super quiet. Of course when you get into supersonic bullets there isn’t much value added to signature reduction, compared to a similar 5.56 of course. Out of a short barrel with light bullets you’ll be around 2200fps, give or take. That’s plenty to carry it to 200, maybe 300m, before you need an FDC and firing tables to figure into your sight adjustments. Longer barrels increase that with more velocity naturally. In a close-in fight it’d do a number. I wouldn’t feel under gunned with one.

I been using and reloading the 300blk back when it was still only called the 300JDJ Whisper

and I have yet to be impressed by it. Thought I have not killed a hadji with it at room distance, I have never been impressed by its performance on deer. sub and super sonice, with and with out suppressor. My Best Friend’s Father bought one waaaaay back, and we experimented with it a lot and I have yet to find an excuse to buy my own

If I had it in my mind that the 5.56 was some how useless ( lol a hilarious notion indeed) I think I would opt for the 6.8spc instead. And I am not much on it either.

Wes Dee

6.8 spc necked down to 5.56 could be fun ?


Some folks are doing the “22 SPC” already. I did a “6mm SPC” and it shoots like anything else does of course but now I’ve got a very unique and expensive barrel to feed. I tinker around infrequently with it because it’s fun to do but it’ll be my only foray into the wildcat world. At least 6mm bullets are plentiful but plain ol’ 5.56 does everything I need it to do.


Why not 6×45? Much better than 6.8 or .300 blk in my mind…


Since 5.56 then .300 blk is just a re-barrel away…


The part of the source article had me groaning “uuuughh”, when it brought up “stopping power”.


Where do the Franks get their ammo? Do they domestically produce their 223? Are they capitalizing on a bargain purchase of x39 that fell in their lap? Maybe Norico cut them a sweet deal.

And… They always seemed to be the reluctant-c’est STANAG member, maybe they are taking President Trump at his word?


fun fact: french army buys the steel cartridge cases for their 556 for their FAMAS F1 rifles in China. The Air Force and Navy models eat regular brass cased cartridges.

Josey Wales

Not as “off” a decision as it first might seem. It’s worth mentioning that GIGN prefers the awesome Manurhin MR73 .357 revolver to other service sidearms, so it’s not like they have not made unusual choices before for reasons that seem perfectly sufficient to them. (Immediate action with a revolver is pulling the trigger again.) The West German GSG-9, back in the time after the Munich massacre in 1972 but before the P7 was reportedly designed at their behest chose the S&W J-frame as a basic sidearm. The French liked the power of the .357 and since S&W revolvers quickly proved themselves incapable of tolerating a regular diet of of full pressure loads, never mind the round count that GIGN troopers put through them weekly, the MR73 with a specified minimum service life of 50k rounds without problems came to be.

The 7.62x39mm in it’s basic loading is virtually no different than the .300 Blackout in its supersonic loading, 125gr @ 2300fps. The old saws about the inaccuracy of AK’s in general would not apply to rifles of closer tolerances, with ammunition produced to better standard, and employment on a platform that had a full length sight radius or modern optical sights as opposed to having the rear sight half way up the weapon towards the front sight.

A friend who is a State Police SWAT team commander is a big fan of the .300 Blackout. He is a former Marine Infantryman with combat time and is also a hunter, and in both wise has personal experience of the terminal ballistics of both 5.56×45 and 7.62×35 on large mammals. That is to say, his preference is well informed and comes of personal experience rather than what someone lacking that depth might have written online or in a gun magazine. Further, he observes that 7.62×35 loaded to 2500-2550 fps is the low end of what 7.62×51 offers, especially with a projectile other than FMJ.

John M.

I think .357 revolvers make awesome self-defense guns for typical civilian users, but for counter-terrorism? When you’re thinking up use cases that involve reloading, CT applications have to be high on the list. Full-size 9mm or bust. .357 SIG or .40 S&W would be OK too.

-John M.


Most actions in Europe have been single targets like an arrest of a suspect. I think for this a revolver is still a viable choice. Especially there is an emphasis on reducing the risks for bystanders and thus every shot is supposed to count and less shots fired in general.

John M.

I can buy an argument for giving beat cops 6-shot .357s. It wouldn’t be my pick, but I can buy it.

But unless I’ve been dreaming, European terrorist actions are getting a bit…exciting. I’d want something high-capacity and magazine-fed, which a .357 revolver is neither.

Shoot, the Baader-Meinhof gang business wasn’t all that long ago, and some of that stuff was pretty sporty too.

-John M.


Personally I am looking forward to watching the Army mess up their next “good idea” of switching away from 5.56 between now and sometime after 2020. A preliminary write up of that soup sandwich was on SSD yesterday.

The way I read it, the election (and promises of yuge military budgets) gave big green an opportunity to waste money trying to fix complaints about the 5.56 round being out ranged with RPKs and Mosins in Afghanistan.

So, cue nostalgia and fanboy fueled tomfoolery on the gun culture parts of the internet for the next ten years. Should be fun!


What’s funny is when Ray went on his little screed above I flashed back to night action in which our old war horse M-21, you know the rifle brought out of depots to save us all, turned into an expensive straight pull bolt gun.

Reading about a new battle rifle made me groan even worse than M-17 cluster Fuck.

Once again, so glad I’m out and the gun slinging I do is across a counter.


I think the above mentioned kerfuffle is what our pal Ray is talking about when he is pining for the return of .308.

Hognose Post author

Nobody is outranged by an RPK, and nobody in Afghanistan uses Mosins. There were a shitload of them there, but they were heavily turned in to get NATO off various warlords’ necks. The 7.62 x 54 weapon that’s a problem is the PKM general purpose machine gun, which is a tactical equivalent of our M240 / Mk 48 but lighter.


But I read it on the internet! Our boys with their M-4s space guns is outranged by them goat herders and their Commie Mosin bolt guns!

Gah! What we really need were more -240s and or Mk 48s in general issue. And yes, Kirk, with better tripods.


Y’know… I’m gonna go to my grave tagged with that “better tripod” thing, and the sad thing is that I’m not really obsessed with the tripod, per se. I’m obsessed with wringing the most performance out of my weapons that I can, and that damn primitive-ass M122/192 abortion ain’t helping things. Nor are the inadequate sights that require Joe Gunner to have his ‘effing head above the line of sight on the guns…

I think the hope that the US Army/Marine Corps will pull their collective heads out of their fundaments and start procuring/issuing gear competitive with what the Germans had standard in the 1930s is a lost and forlorn thing. What I think needs to happen is that we leapfrog the whole deal, and go to a weapons platform that General Dynamics or someone can get behind, and start issuing a PackBot based thingy that basically mimics the Sentry Gun crap from Aliens-Basically, a dismount RWS.

Because, God knows, the US Army will never embrace a solution purely based on better training and cheap, high-quality gear like a Lafette tripod…


Maybe not “layfette guy” but at least “german MG guy”? Haha


Yeah, I’m a fan of the system/doctrine, not necessarily the individual bits and bobs that go into them.

I think the Germans did an outstanding job of analyzing what worked for their tactics during the interwar years, and then designed/procured to support that. The rest of us…? Not so bloody much. And, interestingly, the “facts on the ground” near the end of the war more-or-less represent a convergence between the US idea of arming all the riflemen with what could be termed “distributed firepower” vs. keeping the firepower concentrated in the squad/section MG supported by the riflemen that the Germans initially espoused. What I’m referring to there is the way the German approach shifted from MG-centric to distributed firepower supplemented by belt-fed, the way we shifted from “The Garand is everything, with a little bit of BAR…” to “‘Ell yes, we need some damn belt-fed down in the squads, gimme that ol’ time .30 Browning goodness…” in the form of the M1919A6.

If you squint really hard, the convergence between technique is there, and the squad structures start to look a lot alike. Something which we more-or-less ignored the implications of, going forward.

The more I think about it, the more I begin to doubt the actual wisdom of the unified universal cartridge. I think the obvious path that actual experience and evolution is urging on us is more along the lines of a dual-caliber setup, supplemented by indirect mortar fire, and some direct-fire explosive goodness like the Carl Gustav/RPG range…

Paul from Canada

Like I said on the other thread, take a look at the original FN designed tripod for the FN-MAG as used by everyone else (Israel, UK, Canada…)

-Soft/bufferered mount

-Adjustable command height (low for prone in the field/high for long range, shooting out of windows etc.,

-Much more adjustable for leveling the gun on slopes/uneven ground.

-Set up for use of a dial/mortar sight (C2 in UK and Canadian service) for long range fire.

Not a Lafette for complexity and adjust-ability, but better than the old style M-122.

Now make it out of titanium and make the legs with telescopic locakble extensions, and voila!


Agree w/ Kirk — I see a 6mm intermediate assault rifle cartridge as a replacement for 5.56 w/ a 7mm, possibly 6.5 mm full power rifle cartridge as a replacement for .308. 6mms can use .243 win bullets to give an idea of bullet selection…


There is some work being done in the space I’m talking about, but I don’t see a lot of real interest from the military in them…

Gentlemen, I give you the Lafette for the US Army, the only way something like that will ever see actual service:


Granted, they’re looking at vehicle mounts, mostly, but it could be emplaced on a small tracked chassis like the PackBot, and run up forward of the gunner to gain visibility on the enemy. Add in a bunch of automated crap to make firing solutions a no-brainer, and I about guarantee you that only a complete idiot is going to chance getting the attention of a dismounted infantry unit armed with these.


Sorry can’t reply to your other reply. But yean i can definitely see what your saying about the convergence. You can see the change in thinking with the wide issue of the stg44. And we were sort of doing the same thing with the m16 later on. Interesting thought about the 2 calibers. While one is convenient you are having to do a fair amount of comprising.


That TRAP T360 remote mount with an M240 on top of a robot of some sort is an interesting idea, Kirk. But despite being “the lightest”, that mount is over 70 pounds. (What makes it so heavy?) So you’d probably need a much bigger robot than a 40 pound PackBot.

But how soon before we have swarms of little insect-size robots that fly up your nose, and then detonate?

Hognose Post author

Ever see a scrawny 70-lb (or even 90-lb) chick firing an FN-MAG or 240? That’s why a gun ‘bot can’t be light.


Do note that the PackBot/RWS thing isn’t what I’d prefer to be doing, it is just what I see as being the only way to get the Army to do something intelligent about actually developing the capability to use MG fires again.

Leave it up to me, and we’d be doing a design competition between FN and whoever the hell is the manufacturer these days for the Lafette system, and tell them to get the damn weight down. And, then in lieu of spending millions to transport, fuel, and maintain those cute little robots, I’d spend that money on ammo and training time out on ranges that look like what you’d encounter in Afghanistan…

At least a part of the problem is that most Army ranges bear little resemblance to the reality of things in the mountains-Instead of the flat-surface BS we train on, I’d be shutting down significant fractions of the high mountain desert training areas we have that look a lot like Afghanistan, and then be using those for live-fire ranges with portable targets I could set up for the gun crews to move up or down a valley with their guns. By the time I got done with them, they’d be able to set and fire off a tripod out to 1200m in a minute or two, and would be proficient enough to do it in their sleep.

Unfortunately, the US answer to a military problem is never going to be “train your way out of it”; it’s always going to be “buy a better toy to cope with it…”. It’s a cultural trait, apparently one set in stone.



That could totally be arranged if you can just get the air farce to give up the good piston engine that is turning into the tomahawk turbofan redux so big green doesn’t get stuck developing the liquid piston engine the last 80% of the way to field ready for Talos and your packbots!

Not that I’m pissed off about this shit or anything, but yeah I’m pissed off!


Kirk — Max Velocity Tactical has started hosting Special Operations units… Maybe only a matter of time until big green develops something similar?

Yeah Bring back the M14 ! its Great! Wood and Steel ! Man’s gun! 30 cal.!!

Hognose Post author

It just wastes ammunition. We need to go back to the good all-American Mauser copy, the 1903.


But with the magazine cut off permanently engaged this time.

John M.

Krag FTW.

-John M.


I see your Krag, and raise you a Springfield 1873 in .45-70.

It’s the only way to be sure, and there are a lot of dead Native Americans who can attest to the efficacy of the caliber…

Steve M.

Funny exchange there! It does make you wonder, how far back you have to go to make some folks happy.

Hognose Post author

Beat me to it.


The decline of our glorious Bright Water Clan began when we switched from the atlatl (a weapon system designed to kill) to the bow. The atlatl launches a proper spear, something with real stopping power, that can kill a tapir with a single shot. The bow, on the other hand, deploys skinny little “arrow” things suitable only for ‘possum shooting. So those punk kids tell me they can carry 15 arrows which put together are lighter than my standard three-spear loadout. But tell me this. If it takes 5 (or more!) arrows to put down a tapir, and I can do it with a single spear from my atlatl, which is more effective? And if you happen to shoot a jaguar with a single arrow, and he finds out, he’s gonna be awfully pissed off. And then what will you stop him with? Your little designed-to-wound arrows? Good luck, kid; I’d give three strings of cowry shells to see that, but from far away.

And don’t even get me started on what happens when a bow gets wet. Too complex, I say. Too many ways to fail. And you have to baby a bow, keep it clean, keep the string dry. A real hunter can’t be burdened with a finicky, unreliable weapon like that. That’s the thing about atlatls, they always work. You can bury one in mud for a month, then dig it up, drag it through the jungle for half a day, and it still works. Try that with your newfangled ‘possum-shooter!


Well, Hognose, you could still go back to the field-supportable Springfield Model of 1863, with the advantages that the powder and ball could easily be field-fabricated, given appropriate training. Caps might be problematic, but they’re relatively light, so we could fly in hundreds of thousands per Ford Tri-Motor, which we should also re-issue, given the easily supported nature of the thing. Or, alternatively, we could go even further back, and re-issue a flintlock conversion kit for the 1863, so that when the caps ran out, the soldiers could fall back on locally-sourced artisanal flints.

And, even better, the caliber was .58, completely bypassing that effeminate .45 thing…

John M.

Springfield Rifle Musket in .69 or go home.

The switch from .69 to .58 started all this poodle-shooter nonsense, and it’s long since time to rip it out root and branch. Muzzle loading really makes you pick your targets well, and the extra cleaning regimen of black powder will be good for the boys’ (and girls’!) discipline.

-John M.


I think Mike C. has pretty much trumped us all…


And this is why I keep Weaponsman open in a tab on my phone all day long. Just shared this whole thread of awesomeness with the guys at work. The teenager who is the building maintenance specialist (custodia) looks at me in dead seriousness:

“But I thought you liked the M-14, Mister Mack.”


Although, maybe we can go further back, now that I think about it.

When you look at it, the clear point of failure was when Homo Sap came out of the veldt, carrying projectile weapons and bringing his dogs with him. Neanderthal man had a very lengthy history of close combat with the big game animals of the Ice Age era, and did quite well for a very long time. It was only those effete Cro Magnon types that needed projectile weapons and co-opted predators to cope with life on the Ice Age tundra.

We should go back to the spear, the rock, and the hand-axe, says I; this whole civilization thing has proven to be a crock…


***Or, alternatively, we could go even further back, and re-issue a flintlock conversion kit for the 1863, so that when the caps ran out, the soldiers could fall back on locally-sourced artisanal flints.***

Exactly what Nathan Bedford Forrest did when he rejected the offer of Enfield *3-band* .58 rifled muskets for his horse cavalry troopers, the South suffering a shortage of percussion caps at the time [eventually resolved with the donation of a singular plantation’s copper roof sheeting, plus a follow-on of some church roofing material] But Regimental founder Forrest advised prospective recruits to bring their own horses, and, if they had one, a good double-barrelled flintlock shotgun.

And once they’d emptied their basic loads for those obsolescent if not useless weapons, they had a resupply of fine new Yankee weaponry that served their new owners well, once the bloodstains were wiped off.


***When you look at it, the clear point of failure was when Homo Sap came out of the veldt, carrying projectile weapons and bringing his dogs with him. Neanderthal man had a very lengthy history of close combat with the big game animals of the Ice Age era, and did quite well for a very long time. ***

Gunner, co-ax, couple dozen dismounts in the open, Hose ’em, FIRE! Hey, they’re throwing ROCKS at us, put a round of HE in their middle. Loader, load Willy Pete, Gunner put it in short right where those guys in front are, Loader, load green can after and hit ’em when they begin running, FIRE. Driver, move out after the third shot, run over any of ’em look like they might still be able to move, Load black can, Gunner FIRE. Gunner, co-ax, keep an eye out. Who the HELL are these guys….


What’s funny, Archy?

I could totally see those old-tyme “dudes with rocks” winning a few victories, once they learned to wait up until the guys in the tanks laagered up for the night…

And, then it would be “Who’s laughing now, monkey boy…” when the rocks started beating in the heads of sleeping tank crew…

John M.


“We should go back to the spear, the rock, and the hand-axe, says I; this whole civilization thing has proven to be a crock…”

You may get your wish, and sooner than you’d like.

-John M.


What’s funny, Archy?

I could totally see those old-tyme “dudes with rocks” winning a few victories, once they learned to wait up until the guys in the tanks laagered up for the night…

And, then it would be “Who’s laughing now, monkey boy…” when the rocks started beating in the heads of sleeping tank crew…

Absolutely true, though we usually slept inside our tanks. But catching a crew fueling up/topping up with burning pitch or fire arrows would do it, as would tossing mud or dung glops on vision blocks/sights/sensors, especially in heavy brush or light wooded areas.

Even our old M48/M60 series took 4 hours of maintenance for every hour of operation. Fighting off a guy who’s been using his stone axe for all his life with my track jack is not Tanker’s Odds, even in the days when every tank crewdawg carried a M1911A1 .45 and we had two M3/M3A1 greaseguns aboard, plus other pickups. and that is no longer the case.

You think maybe we could scrounge up some C-rats, and bribe these spearchuckers into working as OUR dismounts? Better pull the ham & limas, they might figure we’re trying to poison them….

You ever see an old Twilight Zone episode with Warren Oates, *

The Seventh is made of Phantoms*
or a title close to that? Hey, you hear….drums?


There are heavy sub sonic loads with penetrators for 7,62*39. In Russia at least. Just like for300 BLK which pretty much retraces the old warhorse anyway.

In the PPU online catalogue I can only find three different 8 gramm loadings, but when GIGN asks nicely they will load whatever they’d like.


“The Bren 2 7.62 x 39 mm version selected by the GIGN is a compact assault rifle with a nine inch barrel.”

Interesting, if true. With a barrel that short 7.62x39mm makes perfect sense compared to 5.56mm for the GIGN job. But did they ever consider .300 BLK?

From the 13″ barreled XM9 carbine abortion, to the 13″ barreled H&K selected as the new French service weapon, I just don’t get the mania for short barreled SCHV firearms.



There’s actually a way to go about getting some SCHV loads that are still over 3000 fps muzzle velocity down to 10.5 inch barrels.

Personally I’m not super into the short barrels trend, but I also don’t kick mud hut doors off their hinges and ventilate body armor wearing haji’s for a living either.

Daniel E. Watters

On the bright side, the Bren 2 is designed to be easily convertible back to 5.56x45mm. You merely swap the barrel assembly, bolt, and firing pin, and then insert a sleeve into the magazine well that fits STANAG-pattern magazines.


Pay no heed.

This is the French just showing their wry Gallic humor, and outright f***ing with us.

We still never repaid them properly for giving doughboys the Chauchat {Fr. for “litter box truffle”}, but like the Irish giving the Scots bagpipes as a joke and the Scots taking it seriously, we came close when we sent them the comedic genius of Jerry Lewis.


OK,this post got a lot of replies/some heat but going to ask anyhow,the CZ pistol on left looks like it is set up for a lanyard,is that right or am I looking at it wrong?


Argh,meant pistol on right.

Trone Abeetin

ummmm cartridge flame wars, always a good read.

John M.

What kind of mangina needs a cartridge? Loose ball and powder is all a man needs to do his shootin’, and if that doesn’t work, well, it’s time to start hitting the other fella with your gun, or just go to your knife.

-John M.


[tongue firmly stuck in cheek]

Sooooo… What’s your preference, when it comes to blade work? Arkansas toothpick, Bowie, or Khukri…?

[/tongue firmly stuck in cheek]

John M.

Psssht. Xiphos all the way. Bronze.

-John M.

Hognose Post author

Hah. If Jim Bowie was a real man, he’d have learned to swing a Gladius, during the Last Hard Course.

Bill Robbins

Super-interesting stuff.

As for the French, when all else fails, they might try closing their borders.


Well, if you insist on a really short barrel, 7.62×39 ballistics suffer much less from that than 5.56×45. And the Gendarmerie presumably don’t care too much about carrying lots of ammo (weight), nor long range shooting. So the Bren 2 in 7.62×39 would probably work just fine for their needs (as would many other carbines). But I agree that it’s a bit mystifying, particularly since France is already standardized on 5.56, it has lots better ammo choices, etc. etc. My guess (despite knowing nothing much about France) is that it won’t actually happen, even if the whole story isn’t an outright fabrication.

But all you guys suggesting .300 BLK? That doesn’t make any more sense. .300 BLK is just 7.62×39 ballistics shoved into a different size case to fit better into AR-15s. It’s main – maybe only – advantage is purely that, that it works better IN THE AR-15. If you aren’t already wedded to the AR-15, why would you care? (Better bullet availability in .308 vs. .311, sure, but a large organization like the Gendarmerie probably doesn’t care about that either, they can order what they want.) And AFAICT the Gendarmerie have never issued the AR-15. From the web, various French police units appear to have used the Ruger Mini-14, the Sig 540, and of course the FAMAS, all in 5.56 (and all French produced). No AR-15s.


Well, if you insre both intended for use in ist on a really short barrel, 7.62×39 ballistics suffer much less from that than 5.56×45. And the Gendarmerie presumably don’t care too much about carrying lots of ammo (weight),

The 7,62x39mm M43 cartridge was designed for a 16-inch barrel, and is being shortened by about a third. The M193 and M885/SS109 rounds were both meant for use in a 20″ barrel of the AR15/M16 and M16A2 respectively and suffer more by being shortened by half or more. Size and bulk of the loaded magazines is probably as much of a consideration as weight, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see 20-round MagPuls make an appearance for under-the-raincoat work.

Too bad the Czechs never hing onto their old 7,62x45mm cartridge used in their She-rifle and Vz58. It would have been a contender, and in the British EM-2 bullpup design of the 1950s, would have been a real interesting combination.

Steve M.

Jolly good read, fellows. Thanks.


Great Read!!

This is kinda the ‘STEAMPUNK’ era in small arms.

We’re right on the cusp of death by remote control. This Xhundred year old technology might be usurped by the push of a button. If you can finally dev man-portable death rays etc., the tech in allied areas will also go up – i.e. man portable death ray against ROV piloted death ray and so on. I was born just at the right moment – vacuum tube, transistor, integrated circuit, the biggest library on earth(internet).

William O. B’Livion

> Not to mention, the 7.62 x 39 mm model is … well, look at it. It was spawned in the cauldrons of the

> five Lee Sisters: Ug, Home, Ghast, Beast, and Gnar.

As the philosopher Douglas Adams once put it, in his seminal work _Restaurant at the End of the Universe_:

“The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. ‘Make it evil,’ he’d been told. ‘Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it, then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with.’”

I think it looks very appropriate, and if I could buy one at a reasonable price with minimal federal paperwork I’d have three.

Pete Zaitcev

Popenker mentioned in his own comments that HK planned to participate with a version of 433 in 7.62×39, but failed to submit a working gun in time for the award decision.